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Undergraduate Student Education

Frate Summer Bioethics Fellowships

The Frate Fellowship is a structured five-week immersion experience on the UMMC campus in Jackson designed to give undergraduate students in the humanities a substantive exposure to the broad spectrum of ethical, social, and cultural issues associated with modern health care. Beginning with an orientation to the unique aspects of working in a medical environment that will include formal training in HIPAA standards, exposure to blood-borne pathogens and hazardous materials, and professional decorum, students will then be assigned to ward teams with whom they will directly observe patients as they experience their illnesses, the environment in which their care is given, and the physicians, nurses and other staff as they provide that care. You will also attend a wide variety of meetings and presentations related to the ethical and regulatory facets of healthcare and research, including Institutional Review Board (IRB) meetings in which human research protocols are reviewed for approval, the Institutional Animal Care and Utilization Committee (IACUC) in which proposals for animal research are discussed (including a tour of the Laboratory Animal Facility), the Mississippi Organ Retrieval Association where organ retrieval and distribution for transplants are organized,

In addition, the student will participate in small group discussions conducted by experts in health policy, research funding, health care law, public health and the interface of religion and health care. A presentation is required at the end of the experience that analyzes an ethical, cultural or social issue encountered during their experience.  Grading is based on participation and the quality of the presentation. Students are selected competitively based on their academic record, faculty recommendations, and relevance of the fellowship to their careers.

The fellowship is named in honor of the late Dr. Dennis A. Frate, a medical anthropologist who examined health and health care by way of the human factors that determine how we experience illness, injury, and their treatment, and whose work was strongly informed by the humanities. Studying the health of people in the full context of their lives in order to learn how relationships, lifestyle, and culture impact disease prevalence and outcomes and securing a major NIH grant to test community-based strategies for controlling hypertension, Dr. Frate’s work is emblematic of the goals of the Fellowship.

The 2020 Frate Bioethics Fellowship will take place from June 29-July 31. Applications will be accepted through May 31, 2020. Please click here to apply. For additional information, contact Amani Bailey at or (601) 815-4951

SOHE: Summer Medical Humanities Course

SOHE 329: Medical Humanities is an immersive summer course in which students investigate the ethical, legal, social, and cultural issues of medicine through intensive study, field experience, professional discussion, practitioner shadowing, and direct clinical observation in a hospital and academic healthcare institution setting. The course is a 2-week, 6-day a week, 6-hours a day experience that takes place at the Medical Center campus in Jackson, MS during the early summer, incorporating a variety of discussion, observation, and clinical setting experiences, and covers medical anthropology, history, philosophy, ethics, religious studies, and law.

  • Sample syllabus

Bioarchaeology/Medical Archaeology Field School